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January Chamber Meeting Features 'State of the City' Presentations

The meeting was held at Morning Star Church in Dardenne Prairie.

Two mayors and a city administrator spoke to a large crowd about the state of their respective cities at the January membership meeting of the Western St. Charles Chamber of Commerce last week.

Speaking for the city of Dardenne Prairie was City Administrator Frank Schoneboom. Schoneboom thanked Morning Star Church, who was hosting the meeting, and pointed out the new addition to the Dardenne Prairie church.

Schoneboom spoke of the city's motto, A City of Possibilities. "We try to approach everything we do with that kind of an open-mindedness."

He spoke about how Mayor Pam Fogarty and the Board of Aldermen worked with MoDOT and St. Charles County to keep the Page Extension from dividing the city with the addition of an underpass at Hanley Road. Schoneboom also mentioned that next year that Lindenwood will be opening a satellite campus in the old Barat Academy building next year and that the city will be getting more walking trails.

"I'm excited about the possibilities for the City of Possibilities," Schoneboom said in closing.

Lake Saint Louis Mayor Mike Potter said that the city's two business developments, The Meadows and the Shoppes at Hawk Ridge, are the "city's savior," helping to fund the police and public works. "Funding those out of real estate taxes would be almost impossible," he said. Potter said that the city was figuring out how to handle the expenses of a high-service city, and mentioned that the city was looking at the possibility of a higher sales tax.

Potter said that Lake Saint Louis is also excited about the Page Extension, with the link to West County and spreading the traffic among the existing routes.

Nick Guccione, Mayor of Wentzville, narrated a Power Point presentation about growth in the city. 2010 was a peak in the city's growth at 29,000, but the city is projecting a population of 45,000 in 2020. The city saw 35 new businesses in 2012.

"We need to open our arms and welcome new business to our city," he said. "The board cut the cost of our business licenses in half. It's small, but it's a start to help businesses come to Wentzville."

Guccione said that he believed that consumer confidence was coming back. "I think St. Charles County has held its own in the recession," he said.

Sam's Club is drawing people in from Warrenton and Wright City, Guccione said, and they are spending dollars in our city. He thanked Sam's for their contributions to several local causes.

Guccione also mentioned the GM expansion and the Ranken Tech campus that will open in Wentzville later this year.

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